Thursday, January 31, 2013
Russia Concerned by Reports of Israeli Air Strike on Syria
MOSCOW, January 31 (RIA Novosti) – Moscow is “deeply concerned” over reports of Israeli air strikes on Syrian territory on Wednesday and is seeking confirmation of what could be a serious violation of the UN charter, the Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.
Moscow said it is looking into reports that Israeli fighter jets carried out an air strike on a military research center near Damascus on Wednesday.
If the reports of “unprovoked strikes” hitting a sovereign country’s territory are confirmed, this would constitute a violation of fundamental United Nations principles, the Foreign Ministry said.
Such attacks are ”unacceptable, no matter where their motivations lie,” the Foreign Ministry added.
Syrian state media, citing the army’s general command, said the strikes killed at least two people. Western media reports said Israeli jets had bombed a convoy allegedly carrying weapons destined for the Shia militant group Hezbollah, which has previously fired rockets into Israel from Lebanon.
The Associated Press quoted an anonymous US official saying the convoy was carrying Russian-made Buk M-2 (NATO: SA-17) anti-aircraft missiles.
In March 2012, Israel’s Haaretz daily reported Syria had supplied Hezbollah with advanced Russian-made anti-aircraft missile systems and was training operators how to use them, in a move which could threaten Israeli air supremacy in the region.
In 2007, Israel carried out another air raid on Syria, hitting what it said was intended to be a nuclear reactor site. It also destroyed an Iraqi nuclear reactor in a bombing raid in 1981.
Israel has not officially commented on the reported incident. Earlier this week, Israeli officials voiced alarm over Syrian chemical or biological weapons possibly falling into the hands of Hezbollah or other militant groups which might use them against Israel.
The Russia Foreign Ministry also called on for peaceful dialogue without foreign influence in Syria, where over 60,000 have died according to the UN in almost two years of civil war.